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Unit information: Human Resource Management in the Global Economy in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Human Resource Management in the Global Economy
Unit code EFIMM0131
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Alex Wood
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)


Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


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School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Unit Information

HR managers face numerous challenges in a global world economy dominated by trans-national corporations, not least recruiting and retaining talent, enhancing employee engagement and motivation, managing diversity and inclusion, protecting work-life balance, managing change and cultural transformation, and adapting to technological change and new ways of working. We therefore need to ask: How do firms secure preferential access to strategic factor markets for labour? What determines rewards and the distribution of benefits from work? How do HR managers promote and protect health and safety at work, ensure respect and dignity, provide meaningful work, prevent discrimination, harassment and violence, guarantee democracy and promote employee voice? In short, how do we ‘future proof’ the human resources of the organisation?

Our starting point is an understanding of the myriad causes of conflict and the foundations of cooperation at work. More importantly, we need to understand how these conflicts are resolved and how cooperation is maintained in different socio-economic, political and cultural settings. To this end, the Unit will consider US, European and Asian models of HRM, the impact of ‘home’ and ‘host’ country effects on the activities of trans-national corporations, and how and why HR policy and practice differs across countries, industries and organisations. The Unit will equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to manage people in a variety of social and institutional settings, in ‘old’ and ‘new’ industrial sectors, in their home or host country, in the public, private or ‘third sector’.

The overall aims of this unit are to:

  1. Understand the generic challenges facing HR managers in a global economy.
  2. Appreciate the specific challenges facing HR managers in trans-national corporations.
  3. Utilise appropriate theories of HRM to understand how to manage people in different social, institutional and cultural settings.
  4. Equip students with the knowledge and personal/professional skills to manage people with dignity and respect, efficiency and effectiveness.

Your learning on this unit

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of human resource policies and practices in different countries, industries, and firms.
  2. Apply social, economic and political theories to questions pertinent to the management of human resources in an international context.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to evaluate and formulate policies relating to the management of workforces in international organisations, including conformance to national law and international labour standards.
  4. Exhibit the ability to work collaboratively with others to solve problems associated with the management of people across borders and apply their knowledge and intellectual abilities to new human resource management situations.
  5. Communicate ideas, analyses, results, conclusions associated with HRM in the global economy to a range of audiences through comprehensive written and oral communication skills.

How you will learn

A series of lectorials (3 hours/week) will be provided. The unit structure offers 30 contact hours in total. The remaining 170 learning hours will be spent in independent study and in the preparation of assessment.

All lectorials will be delivered and facilitated by the Unit Director.

How you will be assessed

Formative: 1 x 500 word write-up of a podcast of the student’s choice from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development’s website.

Summative: In groups of 4-5, students will pick a company and undertake research on its global business operations as a group and write up a short report, then then they will present a short overview of its corporate HR strategy to the unit director. Following this, individually, they will write a longer report on a specific aspect of the company’s operations, the challenges of operating in a specific country or a pressing HR issue. The weightings are as follows:

  • (30% of overall unit mark) 1 x 4,000 group report. Intended Learning Outcomes: 1-2 and 4-5
  • (10% of overall unit mark) 1 x 20-minute presentation of the report Intended Learning Outcomes: 1-2 and 4-5
  • (60% of overall unit mark) 1 x 2,000-word individual assignment. Intended Learning Outcomes: 1-3 and 5


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EFIMM0131).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.